Forsaken Remastered is the latest remaster from wizard developer Nightdive Studios, the masterminds behind the Turok and Turok 2 remasters. The original Forsaken launched back in 1998 to mostly positive reviews drawn from its six degrees of movement the game offers. The question, much like was the case with the Turok remasters, is how a game from the 90s holds up in 2018 and whether or not this is worth a purchase. Continue reading in order to find out in this Forsaken Remastered Review!
Release Date: July 31st, 2018
Approximate Size: 543.58 MB
Developed and Published By Nightdive Studios
Reviewed On PC; Also available on Xbox One.
The plot is not at the forefront of the game, very little is explained or revealed after the initial cinematic. Normally this would upset me, it would be an annoyance, but this is one of those experiences where the plot is there simply to give you some background on why you are completing the tasks you are doing. The main focus is the gameplay but, at least, the little story that is there is somewhat believable. It’s possible. You are a scavenger, a person allowed to salvage items from the Earth. Why the Earth? Well, the Earth is no longer inhabitable due to man’s inability to control science and an accident that left the Earth’s surface completely destroyed. To explain why you fight against other players, the multiplayer is because as mercenaries you are all fighting over the remaining resources and objects still useable on the Earth. The turrets and other military weaponry are what was left behind from the government.
It’s not the best story in the world but it fits the narrative the gameplay wants to tell. It makes sense of the world that this takes place in and other games don’t even offer an explanation. Kudos to the developers for actually working to give everything a meaning, a purpose. Even I can admit that the little character bios as you select one are an excellent addition and more background on the world around them, with some insight on their intentions. As mentioned earlier, however, the story is not a priority. If I’m being perfectly honest, you’ll forget all about the story as the addictive gameplay is a blast to play.
A fellow writer wrote in his Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection review “while graphics can look dated, the great gameplay never goes out of style.” This is a powerful statement that almost perfectly encapsulates what Forsaken Remaster is. While graphics will be discussed in another section, the gameplay is something I was surprised could hold up so well in 2018 after 20 years. It’s actually pretty impressive. I remember playing N64 version back when I was eight and being in awe at how revolutionary the entire experience was. Funnily enough, those are the same feelings that have radiated through me during this entire review process. I haven’t played every game out there right now but from what I have played, I’m once again filled with that sensation that I haven’t played anything like this.
Thirty-two levels are at your disposal, to maneuver through to find secrets and battle enemies. Levels vary in duration, the lower end taking somewhere in the ballpark of ten minutes and with some taking up to a half hour or more, and some have timers to add more stress to the experience as you search for a means to complete the level. These locations you play through are varied with different layouts and enemy types. Tight corridors can lead to an object, like a switch, but broader areas can be filled with enemies like tanks, turrets, and/or aerial dangers possessing the same levels of mobility as you. If you’re not looking for how to proceed through the level or facing against a dangerous opposition, you can search the levels for hidden secrets, gold, power-ups, and shields.
You take control of a hover vehicle, one of many selectable and unlockable that comes with its own perks and stats. One might be well rounded, one may offer better mobility, one could have speed options that greatly surpass others. You won’t see them after selecting them as the game is played in a first-person perspective, but the level of movement and mobility offered to you is surprisingly wonderful. If you’ve ever wanted to pilot a spacecraft in a video game and have everything be responsive, well implemented, and fun then this is the experience for you. It was a joy to fly around the level and take on enemies, strafe around their attacks, and have near complete freedom as I did so. Changing elevation, 360 degrees of movement, it’s all fluid. With the possibility of danger being around every corner, or popping up at any time, the game gives you a secondary camera angle always present to the right of your screen and it acts as a backup camera. This is an excellent addition that doesn’t take away or hinder the experience. Actually, it provided another layer, offering you to always have your back covered from possible sneak attacks or missed enemies. A third camera angle will pop to the left of the screen, utilized spectacularly for storytelling or to show where your missile is headed.
Speaking of weapons, the game has a healthy amount in the form of different ammo types. Everything from laser beams, rockets, and scattered orbs are present. Some even more unique are also available and all of them can be accessed through a weapon wheel of sorts with the touch of a button. Enemies can be a bit spongy, especially the top mounted turrets, but there is a nice element of experimentation to see which type of attack is more beneficial against an enemy. You also have to play cautiously because, being from an older era, there is no autosave and lives are limited and are carried from level to level. Deaths can also be wonderfully gory, perfect visual of your tragic death. Upon respawn, you can go to where you died to pick up all the perks and weapons you had up until that point. Once you complete a level, you are greeted with a statistic screen that displays how many enemies were defeated out of all the ones available for the level, your time is also shown, and the gold and crystals found. These will help in getting unlockables, such as new bikers, levels, and cheat codes. Speaking of cheat codes, they are present but will lock your achievements. This is a trade off we’ve seen from other games and is implemented to make sure every achievement is earned.
This Forsaken Remaster, from a gameplay perspective, runs smoothly and at a locked 60FPS. The game is a blast to play with some great gameplay freedom and enemies. The only issue I have with this game, in this category, is the game’s camera. There were many moments where it felt as if it was its own enemy, getting in my way and fueling frustrations. It’s not common but this seemed to almost always be the case when the game takes away control for a section and keeping the camera pointed in the right direction becomes nearly impossible.
It’s pretty surprising that Forsaken Remaster possesses a substantial multiplayer suite of modes. It was completely unexpected. Regardless of the modes, they all have some element of mobile, aerial, dogfights that’ll take place. The chaos that ensues as you and others battle for supremacy leaves some remarkable moments that cannot be emulated in its offline modes. The camera can, at times once again, cause an issue of sorts as you sometimes find yourself in compromising situations as you battle against it, but the always present rear-view camera can aid you in keeping track of an opponent. Though I commend the game for the inclusion of the multiplayer, I have to admit that finding games was pretty difficult and the ones I did partake in never had a full lobby. Let’s take a look at the available modes.
Free For All
Classic Death Match mode where you and everyone else is out to become number one by killing everyone. No teams, no friends. It’s the oldest mode in multiplayer gaming and one of, if not the, best mode available. The freedom of movement the game offers with fluid 360-degree movement really makes this game mode shine and allows for some spectacular moments and tons of fun. One game can easily turn into ten and the goal of playing a quick round can evolve into a late-night marathon.
Capture The Flag
Another mode that’s been around for ages. The goal is exactly how the name implies, you are to capture the enemy’s flag and bring it back to yours while maneuvering through rough dogfights and maze-like map layouts. It all runs pretty quickly but some maps make the game mode overly complicated and a drag. One map had me constantly looking for the enemy flag and I was never able to, but I managed to run past mine several times. With neither team scoring, it could also be that the opposing team suffered similar results. This didn’t happen often, but it did happen more than once.
Those familiar with my review style know that I like to break down every game mode and explain them completely and shed light on my experience with them. Unfortunately, with this game, I am unable to. I was only able to get a few games within the two modes above, even going as far as to delay this review twice to hope for more opportunities at experiences in these other modes, but I was unable to. The other modes are Flag Chase, Bounty Hunt, Team Bounty Hunt, and Team Game. I’m not entirely sure what these modes are but if they are anything like the other two, they are probably a blast. What I can say about the multiplayer experience as a whole is that games launch almost instantly, they run smoothly without any hiccups, and they take the immense amount of fun found in the single player and turn it up several levels. You can also create your own lobby and set restrictions on what items can be used and what cannot be used. Maps are great for the most part and the camera can still be annoying at times.
Overall, the multiplayer is great and has a ton of potential. That potential and fun is directly tied to the great gameplay and had I been a PC gamer with a pool of friends to play with, Forsaken Remastered could easily take up a lot of my time. For those on the fence about this game, you honestly won’t go wrong by picking this up. Those, like me, who played this twenty years ago on a CRTV on a Nintendo 64 will once again fall in love with this unique experience. The added online aspect of the game only helps to make a classic gain more replayability with friends across the globe.
Forsaken Remastered differs from the other two remasters I’ve reviewed from Nightdive Studios. While Turok was praised for bordering the fictional line between remaster and remake, this one is much more of a remaster. When it comes to the in-game graphics, nothing has been altered or changed. Essentially what you are looking at is the same exact game that graced consoles back in the 90s but at a much higher resolution. At first, I thought this was a missed opportunity but when you read up on what the goals and ambitions are for Nightdive Studios, making classic games playable on modern hardware without the need to alter older consoles or pirate games, it’s to make enjoying older classics that were great in their time playable now with as much ease as it was back then. An effort the studio nails.
Enemy models are easy to make out, tanks, flying objects, and turrets all look as one would expect. Even from a twenty-year-old game, it all holds up surprisingly well visually. Maps offer a variety, one moment you’ll find yourself in the steel filled sections of an underground train system, to locations where the blazing lava can be seen all around you. The game does well to give your eyes different visuals as you complete your objectives. The visuals of the game shine the brightest with its effects. When your engaging enemies and the two of you are blasting each other, different particles and colored lasers fill the screen and almost feels like a rave event with how flashy and joyful it can all be. I was taken aback at first because I honestly didn’t expect the game to offer this level of color or effects, especially because of when the game comes from. All this remaster has shown is that, perhaps, Forsaken was ahead of its time in many ways.
While the visuals won’t win any awards, the fact you can play this on modern consoles without much hassle, and due to the great gameplay, the entire experience is worth it. Yes, I wish something was approved upon. Some new textures would have been appreciated, as would some improved character models, but it’s fine by me due to how this is preserving a classic game and experience. Also, for those who would want to bash this choice would need to also do the same to the Shenmue remaster. The inclusion of those N64 exclusive levels makes this the definitive version.
If you close your eyes when playing, or even when starting it up, you’ll be transported to the 90s, if you were able to be born in that marvelous time. Heavy on the drums with techno like elements hidden within, it’s all very nice and fits the tone of the game perfectly. In the graphics section I mentioned how great the particles and effects from fire weapons were but the audio that accompanies them is just as fantastic. It reminded me of Star Wars with how they sound. Even the sounds the hovercrafts make all sound authentically believable. One special mention I would like to bring up in the sound department is the game’s voice acting, particularly the one that accompanies the opening cinematic. The narrator’s voice is deep, dark, captivating, and conveys the severity of the world perfectly. Like most areas of this game, I was surprised. All in all, the sound in the game is handled great. There is nothing that sticks out as bad, but nothing exactly sticks out as overly impressive or spectacular, besides the voice acted narration. Forsaken Remastered has held up well and this release shows that.
Forsaken Remastered is a wonderful experience overall. The sound and gameplay are a throwback to an older era and flows and blends together rather wonderfully, they compliment one another perfectly. Yes, the story isn’t that strong and rather forgettable, and the graphics aren’t the best despite being lifted to a higher resolution. Despite all that, it doesn’t matter as the gameplay is strong with how great and addicting it is. What is usually meant to be an hour or two to play for review ended up being sessions filled with gameplay to the point that the actual writing of the review took a back seat a few times. Nightdive Studios also deserve a great deal of respect and praise for their ability to not only take a twenty year old game and bring it to the modern era but for also being able to do so while preserving the magic that made it such a fantastic experience back in the 90s. Remember “while graphics can look dated, the great gameplay never goes out of style.” This is a great line that perfectly encapsulates what Forsaken Remastered is.
Graphics & Sound7.5/10
- Fast, Fun, & Fluid Gameplay
- Interesting Use Of Additional Camera Angles
- Complete Forsaken Package With Once Exclusive N64 Levels
- No Bugs, Glitches, Or Pop In
- Nice Mix Of Preservation & Remaster
- Multiplayer Population Is Low
- Camera Can Be An Enemy
- Some Textures Should Have Been Redone